Our team took part in the London Legal Walk 2019 this year, raising £500.00 for The London Legal Support Trust which helps to raise funds for charities that offer pro bono legal advice and representation to those in need.
The London Legal Walk is the largest fundraising event in the legal calendar and supports over 100 organisations in London and the South East each year.
Joining over 14,000 other walkers, the team enjoyed a 10k walk around Central London, enjoying some of the beautiful parks the City has to offer.
Thank you to all of our sponsors, we greatly appreciate your support.
For more information, please contact us at email@example.com or on 0203 405 9030.
At Open Plan Law we enjoy any excuse for a party but International Women’s Day gives us a pause for thought. Do we need a designated day to celebrate women, or is the day an anachronism? And if we do celebrate women, what is it for?
We recently tweeted about a book by Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic “Why Do So Many Incompetent Men Become Leaders? (And How to Fix It)”. In keeping with the message of the book, and as a sort of nod to International Women’s Day, we thought we would celebrate traits shared by many fantastic women and men alike, which the author declares worthy of a modern leader: level-headedness, the ability to assess skills accurately (rather than overinflate them) and high emotional intelligence. That in addition to field expertise!
We have also asked Anna, our founder, for her views on entrepreneurship and leadership, and what she thinks the future holds for women in the legal profession.
Q: What changes have you seen in the legal industry during your career?
There have been some very significant changes in the industry since my time as a junior lawyer in the City. The industry is diversifying, helped by new business models such as ABS and limited liability companies, and a more competitive professional insurance offering. Since the 2008/9 banking crisis, clients have tightened legal budgets and demand more for less. This forces the industry to be more agile and invest more effort in acquiring and retaining clients. As a result, numerous new firms are appearing on the market introducing healthy competition and more choice for clients.
Q: What changes would you like to see in the future?
There is something of a quiet revolution taking place: according to a survey conducted by the Law Society in 2017, more than a third of law firms are owned by women. These may be smaller to mid-sized firms (the partnership in large law firms remaining predominantly male) but this is an exciting statistic nevertheless. With time, these firms will grow and balance things out. Especially if the Government and finance industry act on the findings of the Rose Report published today. The report shows that if female entrepreneurs are funded on par with their male counterparts, the UK economy as a whole could be given a £250 million boost. It is also encouraging that general counsel increasingly prioritise legal spend on firms that commit to diversity and inclusion. These shifts are bound to have an impact in more subtle ways too, for example, by introducing a new perspective on the style of conducting negotiation and litigation.
Q: How would you like your firm to develop in the future?
We focus on organic growth because it is essential for us that the firm retains its culture of close collaboration, innovation, and the ethos of helping others. We may be small, but we are good and we are here to do good work. The rest will follow.
Q: Finally, what are your pearls of wisdom for those wishing to pursue a career in law?
It is harder than you think! Forget Suits, The Good Wife, and similar incarnations of TV lawyers (although it helps to be well dressed). Law requires grit and a willingness to put others first – the client’s problem will not go away only because you plan a holiday. Your satisfaction will initially come from a neatly tabbed bundle, and with time from making a persuasive argument, or capturing a complex issue in one paragraph. It is a team sport but whether you are more or less visible, you will have an impact on the world around you. And you will be able to express yourself through your practice which is a reward in itself. Above all, I would say, persevere!
For more information on our legal services, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0203 405 9030.
1. Understand copyright
Any original photographs you create attract copyright, having protection from creation, for your lifetime, plus 70 years. If anyone infringes this right, you have a right to sue them for compensation and to stop further use. Note that there are exceptions to copyright which, under certain circumstances will allow third parties to use your work.
2. Know your moral rights
Moral rights only apply to copyright and are not assignable, therefore you cannot transfer these to third parties. Moral rights may, in some circumstances, be waived. Like copyright, if these rights are infringed, the creator can sue. The rights are:
* The right to be identified as the author or director of a copyright work (known as the “right of paternity” or “right of attribution”)
* The right to object to derogatory treatment of a copyright work (known as the “right of integrity”)
* The right not to suffer false attribution of a copyright work
* The right to privacy in respect of certain films and photographs
All of the above apart from false attribution last for your lifetime plus 70 years after death. The false attribution right is limited to 20 years after death.
3. Rules of ownership
Just because you took the photo does not mean you are necessarily the owner and therefore able to enjoy copyright. If you took the photo as part of your employment, your employer will own the copyright and you will have no rights. You should always check the intellectual property clauses, if any, of your employment contract to make sure you understand what will happen with your work.
4. Licensing versus assignment
Do not confuse a license to use copyright works with an assignment of copyright works. A license allows another person to use your work, but you can define the scope and duration and potentially charge for such use. An assignment will transfer your copyright to that person and you will no longer have the right to use the original work. If you are approached by someone wanting to use your work, check any documentation carefully to ensure you understand the terms of the agreement. If you have any doubt, seek advice before signing.
5. Negotiate your contract
Firstly, do not sign a contract without reading it through. If you don’t know the terms agreed, you could be signing away your copyright when you never intended to. Once signed, it will not be easy to prove in a Court that the agreement is invalid just because you didn’t read it. Don’t be afraid to put forward ideas and requests to the other side, you have a right to negotiate, especially if the agreement is unfair towards you. Nevertheless, if you need to seek help, speak to a legal advisor who can help represent you.
If you would like further advice on copyright or intellectual property in general, please contact us at email@example.com or on 0203 405 9030.
It’s January, so Happy New Year and welcome to our first newsletter of 2019! With that in mind, we’re kick-starting this newsletter with a focus on the key employment law developments to help you prepare your business for changes in the coming months. So, here’s your essential round-up …
While the government continues to try to secure a deal, there’s also a drive to prepare the public for a possible ‘no-deal’ Brexit. When it comes to employment law, the government has already published: Workplace Rights If There’s No Brexit Deal, a series of technical notices for a ‘no-deal’ scenario. UK workers are expected to continue with the same rights under UK law (such as paid annual leave), which derive from EU law. Read more here.
Gender Pay Gap
With the 30 March and 4 April 2019 deadlines for Gender Pay Gap Reporting rapidly approaching, we expect that gender pay will continue to be a hot topic in 2019. While recent figures from the Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) employment trends survey show 93% of businesses are taking action to close the gender pay gap, companies are likely to continue to come under pressure to narrow the gap. Read more here.
Ethnic Pay Gap
Britain’s black and ethnic minority (BAME) workers face a ‘pay penalty’ and earn less than white colleagues in the same jobs, according to the Resolution Foundation, a think tank. It found that 1.9m BAME workers are paid about £3.2bn less than their white counterparts every year. To help tackle ethnic disparities in the workplace, the government has recently concluded a consultation exercise on mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting. Read more here.
Government’s Good Work Plan
The Government’s Good Work Plan was described by ministers as the largest upgrade to workplace rights in a generation. However, it is important to note that the announcements – which included greater protection to gig-economy workers – are proposals at this stage and not new legislation. Read more here.
Workers do not automatically lose right to holiday at the end of a holiday year
A recent ECJ case has held that workers have the right to carry over untaken holiday into the next year. This is unless the employer can prove that it enabled the worker to take their entitled leave in the correct year and warned them of the consequences of not doing so. Read more here.
Court Of Appeal Rules That Uber Drivers Are Workers
In the latest ‘gig-economy’ case, the Court of Appeal upheld a 2016 decision ruling that Uber drivers were not self-employed. It found that the taxi and private hire drivers were regular workers who qualify for basic rights such as minimum wage, holiday and sick pay. The case will now be appealed to the Supreme Court. Read more here.
* Last year, the #Metoo campaign took off, with a focus on sexual harassment at work, and non-disclosure agreements (NDAs). And in 2019, it’s likely we will see new proposals to help tackle the issues.
* GDPR – all eyes will be on the Information Commissioner in 2019, when it may issue the first fines for non-compliance.
With these developments in mind, we will be running a series of interactive masterclasses on (i) the use and ethics of NDAs, (ii) how to promote a happier, healthier culture at work and (iii) an update on GDPR. If these are of interest, please contact Beth Eaton at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your details.
Just before we enter into the New Year, below is a quick glance at how we did in 2018.
In March we celebrated the firm’s 2nd anniversary. A small milestone, perhaps, but this was our opportunity to say thank you to our clients at a small gathering at our Bloomsbury office. We also raised a glass to the enlarged OPL team. We welcomed David who has formed the firm’s employment practice providing strategic, responsive and thoughtful advice to corporate and individual clients. We also gained secretarial support and, in September, were joined by our paralegal extraordinaire, Beth.
In June, Anna was delighted to be recognised by the Law Society for her role in the reshaping of copyright law for the digital age and her work for the photography industry, and included on the Law Society’s prestigious Solicitor of the Year shortlist. Achieving this recognition as a start-up, we took it as confirming the success of our innovative and collaborative legal practice.
Helping Creators of all kinds
The range of our clients broadened and diversified this year. We gave advice on copyright, trade mark, personal data protection and commercial law matters to global advertising companies, image rights clearance agencies, photo libraries and public institutions in the arts, heritage and charitable sectors. Our employment practice assisted hotel and leisure groups, consulting firms, construction companies, and health and beauty SMEs, as well as Board members in their executive or individual capacity.
We intend to build on this year’s success and hope for, and wish all our clients and friends of the firm, resilience and ability to adapt to new challenges in 2019 as they will undoubtedly come. As global commerce becomes increasingly complex, we also wish you good intuition – which we can help put into a legal framework.